Parenting

In praise of tea

In November I decided (why??) that giving up tea, coffee, chocolate, biscuits, cakes and alcohol for the whole of 2019 would be a Good Idea. I’m going to say it was the postpartum hormones making me take leave of my senses.

The problem is, I’m extremely stubborn, so once I’d decided to do it… I had to stick to it.

So here we are. One month in to parenting without tea, coffee or basically anything indulgent.

It’s tough. No surprise there, really. Some days I think I can’t do it.

With a toddler and a baby that both seem to have decided they don’t like sleeping, there have been many days over the past month where I’ve wanted several large cups of coffee. And there have, of course, been trantrums that have left me reaching for the chocolate…

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But the worst bit?

It’s not the coffee or the alcohol – after all, I spent nine months of 2018 being pregnant so I was off them both anyway – it’s my cup of tea.

To anyone who knows me, this is probably not a huge surprise. I travel with teabags. (Yorkshire Tea, please. Gold if you want to spoil me.) Every time we come back to Canada from the UK, I bring a huge bag of Yorkshire Tea back with me and then carefully ration it so I have enough to last me until I get home again. I used to chain drink tea. To get myself to write essays at uni, I would promise myself a cup of tea at the end of each paragraph.

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Giving up the comfort of a nice, warm cup of tea is a real sacrifice. (Okay, warm is ambitious when you have small children but sometimes I can sneak one in if I’m up before them or during a rare naptime when they’re both asleep.)

Tea is a panacea. A cure-all. Even when it’s one of those days where the baby won’t stop crying, the toddler won’t behave, the house is getting messier and dirtier before your eyes and you don’t seem to be achieving anything, a cup of tea can make everything a little better. I know it’s a cliche – in the middle of a disaster make a cup of tea! – but it helps. Well, for the British it does, anyway.

So there we are. I miss tea. I didn’t realize just how much I would. Just how much having a cup of tea helped me cope with the terrible twos.

But I can do it. One month down, 11 to go. When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, and everyone else is swigging champagne, I’ll be toasting the new year with a very large mug of Yorkshire Tea. And it will be the best cup of tea I’ve ever had.

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